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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  February 4, 2013 1:00pm-4:00pm PST

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20 seconds before the closing bell. let's get a quick sneak peek of this. the dow down 137 points. friday was the big rally, the first time the dow jones closed above that 14,000 mark since really the height back in 2007. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks so much for being with me. i'm in new york for the day. i'll see you bright and early tomorrow morning on "starting point." here now is wolf blitzer. the blame game following last night's super bowl blackout. it's raising new questions about new orleans readiness to host big events. an embattleled u.s. senator's hitting back at his accusers. new video could potentially
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support his claim he's the victim of a politically motivated smear campaign. plus, a huge scandal in the world's most popular sport. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- but we begin in new orleans. a city deeply embarrassed by the power blackout that interrupted potentially could have changed the course of the super bowl. this is much more than a sports story. it's raising very serious questions about the city's readiness to host big events. cnn's brian todd is in new orleans for us. he's got the very latest on this investigation on what happened during that blackout. brian, what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, learning some incremental things about the investigation. how it's proceeding, how they're looking into it. and what's interesting is the two entries responsible for
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handling the power and electricity to the superdome, they're the ones handling it. at various times over the past less than 24 hours since this happened, both of them have said they essentially didn't do anything wrong. this was a dramatic event. starting right as the third quarter got under way in the superdome last night. we've got video of the lights going out. we've got the video of cbs sports which in tandem with showtime was doing a behind the scenes thing. for the show "60 minutes of sports." here's a clip from what they were showing when they were kind of doing this. they were kind of filming behind the scenes. and this is what they saw in the control room of cbs sports. >> so we took that out, put it up there. so that i could see it and let everybody -- >> uh-oh, we lost lights. >> reporter: and as we've been reporting, the various entities that are handling this investigation have at various times other the past 24 hours
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said that they did not wrong in this situation. in an instant, at least half the stadium's lights tripped out. escalators and elevators lost power. credit card machines didn't work. but no one inside the superdome panicked. >> i've never met so many people that are so hospitable, you know, and it's a wonderful city. >> it's happened a few times before. >> reporter: the cbs sports show time program "60 minutes of sports" was doing a behind the scenes report when the outage occurred. >> uh-oh, we lost lights. all right, we're going to a manual override. >> reporter: a 34-minute delay ensued. now the superdome's managers, along with entergy, the company that provides power to the facility, are investigating. according to minutes from meetings of the louisiana stadium and expedition district, the group that owns and manage, the superdome, it budgeted hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade electronic feeder
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lines from the grid to the superdome late last year. cnn reviewed minutes of those meetings. at one point, it was called an emergency project. but an official told "the times" pick un the outage is not related to the repair work. that official said a machine that monitors power distribution detected abnormalities which activated breakers which shut the power off. he put that at the feet of entergy. >> the interruption in service didn't occur inside the building. we could not receive the power from the entergy volt, the substation that provides us with the power. >> reporter: on sunday night, entergy first said it was feeding power to the superdome normally. on monday, in a statement to cnn, entergy said it's working to investigate and till the investigation is complete, any statements on possible causes of the outage are speculation. could the halftime show featuring beyonce have shorted
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out a system in the building? he says no. quote, the halftime show was running on 100% of generated power. which means it was not on our power grid at all. and cnn has tried to reach beyonce's representatives to see if they've got anything to say about the power outage last night at the superdome and we've not heard back from them. wolf. >> brian, so hoch damage has this done to new orleans chances of getting the super bowl back in new orleans one of these days? >> reporter: it's been a huge worry here, wolf. the mayor has called this an embarrassing moment for the city. a lot of city officials and others around here are saying it was an embarrassing moment for them. but the commissioner of the nfl, roger goodell, he was asked about that today. he said, look, we want the superdome to host events. they want the super bowl to be back at the superdome. they want it back in new orleans. so he's indicating, the commissioner of the nfl, indicating at least now that they do want the super bowl back in this city, wolf. >> i hope it will be. i hope this doesn't overly
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damage the city's reputation. they certainly deserve to host these kinds of events. brian, i know we're going to have a lot more on this story coming up. we'll check back with you. let's get to the day's revelation, in the scandal surrounding the senator menendez. the new jersey democrat is enduring a political firestorm now over reports he took free airplane trips to so-called sex parties in the caribbean. man nen dez insists he's the victim of a smear campaign and his supporters are pointing to a new interview that casts serious doubt on his accusers. let's bring in our national political correspondent jim acosta. he's working the story. what's the latest? >> reporter: the office of senator bob menendez is pointing to a report from the spanish language tv channel univision to question some of the allegations facing the new jersey democrat. one official in that senator's office is calling the video you're about to see damning. meet a 21-year-old woman in the dominican republic who says she's getting married at the end
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of the month. her name is mentioned in a letter sent to the fbi last year. the government watchdog group citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington. that state she may be a prostitute who once slept with democratic senator bob men nen does. but the woman told the spanish channel univision it's all a lie. >> translator: no, that is false. i don't even know that man. >> reporter: outraged, the woman's mother says, we even have the certificates kept somewhere around here that she's a virgin. my daughter is a virgin and i will have this investigated. >> is your nameless, faceless anonymous allegations. >> reporter: the allegations were originally detailed in this e-mail from a man calling himself peter williams and later surfaced on the daily caller. officials with the senator have long maintained they're part of a smear campaign orchestrated by republican dirty tricksters. seizing on the univision report, a men nen does official tells cnn i think this is damning to
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those who continue to peddle pete williams allegations. real people get hurt. the largest newspaper in the senator's home state ran an editorial urging menendez to break his silence on the matter, but went on to say there is no credible evidence to support the accusation. the senate ethics committee is looking into why menendez took free private trips to the dominican republic. menendez, who is now chairman of the foreign relations committee, appears to have the support of the most powerful democrat in congress, majority leader harry reid. >> so i have the utmost confidence in him as. as to the rest of the investigation, they'll have to be handled the way they're all handled around here, in depth. the ethics committee are taking
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a look at it. >> there's some relatively serious allegations here. are you confident he did nothing wrong? >> i have confidence he did not, did nothing wrong but that's what's investigations are all about. >> reporter: the rnc released an e-mail that says senator menendez is becoming, quote, a headache for democrats. in the e-mail, identifying owe mendez as d-obama problem. >> so he's obviously willing to fight back. >> i think it shows his office is now turning a corner. last week he was sort of dodging reporters. he he was going down stairwells that even reporters who cover that beat often don't know about. this suggests with his office e-mailing out this video from univision that they're ready to fight back on these allegations. >> i know you'll stay on top of the story. president obama is in minnesota today. taking his case for new gun
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restrictions to the public. despite fierce opposition to his call to ban many times of assault-style weapon, the president isn't backing down. and he got emotional today when he urged people to put pressure on their members of congress. >> tell them there's no legislation. to eliminate all guns. there's no legislation being proposed to subvert the second amendment. tell them specifically what we're talking about. things that the majority of americans when they're asked support. and tell them now is the time for action. that we're not going to wait till the next newtown or the next aurora. we're not going to wait till after we lose more innocent americans on street corners all across the country. not going to wait till somebody else's father or son are
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murdered. some of the officers here today know what it's like to look into the eyes a parent or a grandparent, a brother or a sir who has just lost a loved one to an act of violence. to see that the pain and the heartbreak from wondering why this precious life this piece of your heart, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. it changes you. you're not the same afterwards. >> the president in minnesota. let's dig a little deeper with our chief political analyst gloria borger. it looks to me and like a lot of other folks this is a major priority for the president. he's shifting, though, his tactics from the way he used to operate during the first term, now to the second term. >> i mean, you just saw from that clip that this is a president who's going out to the american public using the bully pulpit in a way that a lot of
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folks wish he had done during the first term, particularly to sell health care reform, which people say didn't do a great job of selling. i spoke to a senior adviser at the white house today who admitted, look, gun control was not at the top of their agenda. but sometimes there are moments you have to take advantage of when you're president of the united states. this is a leadership moment for him. they believe on the issue of guns. another issue on the agenda, obviously, front and center, immigration reform. that's a political issue that they knew they could tackle given the fact that republicans lost so badly with hispanic voters in the last election. their problem really is congress. that, you know, congress is proven not only that it can't walk and chew gum but that it can't walk. so they have to try to push all these things with the fiscal issues front burner. and that's a very large agenda for them. which they have to get done in, say, a year, a year and a half, before their window of opportunity closes. >> their strategy is a little risky.
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>> yes, it's very risky. i think the question is how much compromise will be president be willing to accept. for example, on the gun issue if they close the loophole on buying guns, the gun show loophole, say if he takes 40% of what he's proposing, will he do that? on immigration, there's another issue here. he may have to compromise on. he doesn't want the path to citizenship to be contingent on border security, wolf. will he give on that? if he does find a way to meet republicans in the middle, and to not endanger his own democrats, he could have a legacy in the making here in short order. but again, the fiscal issues, he has to get through those first. >> listen to this little clip. this is from the cbs interview on the super bowl when he was talking potentially more tax hikes. listen to this. >> there is no doubt we need additional revenue coupled with smart spending reductions in order to bring down our deficit. and we can do it in a gradual
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way so it doesn't have a huge impact. >> the republican leadership saying flatly, no more tax hikes. >> so they're all dug in again on the fiscal issues. if you look at the polls, wolf, the public wants the president and congress to tackle those fiscal issues. ironically, they may be closer on gun control. they may be closer on immigration reform. but it's still the fiscal issues that are the real problem. >> in the next few week, they have some major things coming up on those issues. dan pfeiffer, the president's senior adviser, will join us in the next hour to discuss guns, guns and guns. the nation's new secretary of state's wasting no time getting down to business. john kerry spent a busy weekend on the phone with palestinian and israeli leader, plus officials in japan, south korea and turkey. all that was before he officially said hello to the state department staff today. >> here's the big question before the country and the world
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and the state department after the last eight years. can a man actually run the state department? i don't know. as the saying goes, i have big heels to fill. >> hillary clinton, condoleezza rice, madeleine albright. he certainly, certainly does. we're getting new details about the shooting of a best-selling author. you're going to find out why the man being held for allegedly killing american sniper author chris kyle had to be tased in his jail cell. plus, the story behind the presidential photo a lot of people seem to have an opinion on. ories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend.
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it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. cnn now has a rare look inside syria. throughout the bloody civil war, the capital city of damascus has
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largely remained sort of peaceful, but that may not last a whole lot longer. our own frederik pleitgen is in the syrian capital. a rare opportunity for a western journalist to be right in the heart of syria. fred is joining us now live from damascus. fred, what's going on, what do you see there in damascus? >> reporter: well, wolf, i can tell you that day and night you can hear artillery fire. even if you're in the center of damaus. basically what's going on is is the syrian army is shelling the outskirts where of course the opposition has not taken hold but is still very much present there, has fighters on the ground. just a couple of seconds before we went live right here, right now, there was a barrage of activity i could hear just a couple miles away from where we are right now. that is something that we'll hear throughout the day. and of course those areas are being pounded very hard. the people in those areas, a lot of them are fleeing them. they're coming here into the center of damascus. so what's going on here is there's a growing internally displaced people problem inside
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the syrian capital. we met some of them. here are their stories. while the streets in central damascus are fairly quiet, fierce fighting in the capital suburbs can be heard and seen throughout the day. this one tells us her name is jamilia. he says her house in aleppo was destroyed during the battles there. she fled to the relative safety of damascus with her two children, one only a month old. but now she sees the violence closing in on her again. >> translator: we are afraid. sometimes i want to take all my things and sleep outside in the park because it is safer than being indoors. >> reporter: the woman says she depends mostly on handouts from private people to get by. the u.n. estimates around 2 million syrians have been internally displaced because of the ongoing conflict and many of those who remain in the government-controlled part of the country try to make it to this part of the capital. that's where we meet ryda who left her husband behind in the
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suburbs of damascus when fierce fighting broke out, and he hasn't been heard from since. now she has to support four children on her own. >> translator: i'm not the only one whose life has been destroyed or whose husband is missing. everyone in this country has a missing person or destroyed home or is displaced. many, many have gone through this. we have been through so much. we have suffered and have come to hate life because of all these problems. >> reporter: we wanted to show you one of the places where people like ryda are staying. syrian government agents prevented us from doing so. there are many intern really displaced people here in this area of damascus. most of them stay in the lowest-cost hotels they can somehow afford. we tried going into some of these hotels and talking to these people but most of them were afraid. which is also is due to the fact there's a heavy presence of plain-clothed security forces that are shadowing us. we went into one hotel and it took only two minutes for two
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officers to show up and say we have to stop working, even though we have permission to film in all of damascus. we can't go into the hotels? when we asked for an explanation, the undercover agent said we needed additional permission to film in hotels, then he disappears. the shelling of damascus continues. leaving more people fleeing for areas they hope are safer, at least for a while. so, wolf, of course we have to be clear that what we have is an official journalist visa from the assad government. that of course brings with it a lot of restrictions on our reporting. most of those restrictions are really on movement. what we have is a piece of paper that says we can film in damascus but nevertheless, everywhere we go, there are these plainclothes government agents who tell us we're not allowed to film in certain places. and of course one of the things that also brings with it is that a lot of people are afraid to
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speak to us when those government agents are around and they're usually around everywhere we go. >> it's unusual, even to get one of those visas even to get into damascus. it's been a long time since we had anyone there. how did you do it? >> reporter: well, basically what happened is we applied for this visa and a couple of days later they told us they would consider letting us into the country. then we got approval. there was a process where we had to tell the syrian government when we wanted to come here. then they issued the visas. we had to get here, into syria. it really is a very long process. one of the interesting things you see on the ground here when you're in damascus is that it seems as though the whole situation has become more and more restrictive. there's more and more a presce of military forces here on the ground in damascus. there's a lot checkpoints on the road. we counted six or seven checkpoints just on the road that we took into syria. and we traveled around today a little bit, and there is traffic jams everywhere. it seems as though the syrian government is trying everything
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it can to really keep a grip on central damascus. nevertheless, as we showed in our report, you can hear, you can see all the time that there is fighting going on in the suburbs. and of course the people here in the capital notice that going on. there's a very, very oppressive feeling to all these people who feel the fighting is getting closer. most of all, wolf, who feel the social fabric of this country seems to be coming apart. wolf. >> fred pleitgen on the ground in damascus, thank you. the romney family may not necessarily be through with politics. who's being discussed potentially for a high-level race. plus, the funeral where bill clinton told stories. the organ played. searching for a bank designed for investors like you? tdd#: 1-800-345-2550
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troubling new details about a horrific and deadly bus crash. lisa sylvester has that. >> this is really sad. the crash left eight people dead and 42 injured. safety records show the company has been cited repeatedly for brake and tire issues. the bus rear ended a seed sedan mountainous area east of los angeles. and there's the bell. the dow didn't enjoy much time above 14,000. the index closed below that mark today at 13,880 after closing above it friday for the first time since october of 2007. analysts blame europe for most of the pullback. corruption allegations against
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spain's prime minister and a banking scandal in italy frightened skittish investors. new york mayor's michael bloomberg, rudy giuliani and former president bill clinton with andrew and mario cuomo in the pew behind. among the who's who of politicians attending the funeral of the late new york city mayor ed koch. >> we were told not to speak long. this is not my speech. these are the letters, just the letters, i got from ed koch when i was president. >> ed will be buried at trinity cemetery in upper manhattan. just think about it. a polish jew in an episcopal graveyard in a largely dominican neighborhood. what could be more new york or even more ed koch? >> ed koch who served three terms as mayor, he died last week of congestive heart failure. he was 88 years old.
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people say he was that perfect combination of funny but also tough and that is how he's being remembered. clearly, there was a lot of humor at the service as well. >> that's the way he would have wanted it. i knew him even when he was a congressman, before he was mayor. just a great guy. what you saw on television, that's what you saw behind the scenes as well. >> just seems like one of those amazing guys. i was wondering if you happened to interview him but i kind of guessed you did at some point. >> i love the obituary in "the new york times." very long. went on and on. he never got married. he had no kids. at the end, said basically, ed koch, he is survived by the city, by new york city. which is true. in the '70s when he became mayor, he helped save that city. ed koch is survived by the city of new york. i'm paraphrasing that. america has seen its share of political dynasties. is one of mitt romney's sons ready to run for an office his father couldn't win? also, the controversy that started with one photo of the president. el like you're growing old
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let's get right to our strategy session. joining us, the democratic strategist paul begala, republican strategist ana navarro. let's talk about the photo of the president, skeet shooting, there it is, causing a little bit of a controversy out there. david axelrod, the president's former senior adviser, he was on "morning joe" on msnbc this morning, paul, and he said this -- >> they should put the picture out earlier. i don't know why they waited five days or -- to put that out. because it just rekindled the whole story. you know washington. this thing was cascading and conspiracy theories. guys like joe snickering. you had to do something. inthink they should have shut it down earlier. >> what do you think, paul, they should have released that photo right away?
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>> i give them more slack. axelrod tougher on his former colleagues than maybe me. it probably takes a little while. they have a pretty big government to run. they're trying to confirm a defense secretary. they're trying to actually pass important gun safety laws. maybe they didn't have enough time to rummage around for old pho photos. it's not big enough to be a disgrace but it's an embarrassment. even for many in the media who operated from the presumption that our president was lying. now, he wasn't talking about wmds. he was just talking about a shotgun he used at camp david. now we have proof he was telling the truth. it's an embarrassment. >> this wasn't media, it was marshal blackburn, the republican congresswoman from tennessee who said, well, if he is doing it, why isn't there a picture. >> an absurd long piece in "the washington post" allegedly fact check. it was really an embarrassment to a great paper. >> what do you think? >> he should invite marsha blackburn to camp david to see if she can, in fact, beat him. he should laugh this off, he should play with it.
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i don't understand why they released the picture. i'm not sure what the purpose of releasing the picture is. certainly doesn't give him, you know, change the gun policy debate. it doesn't change the rhetoric. and i don't think anybody thinks he's more of a hunter just because he's shooting inanimate objects. >> does that look like a realistic picture? >> it does. if we can put it back up -- >> paul's from texas so we believe -- >> i have 17 guns. in fact, here, he's looking, wearing air protection. eye protection. it's really rare but there's some risk always. he looks great to me. he's balanced. he's level. it looks like he's a guy who knows what he's doing. i would not confuse him with a hunter. i don't think he pretends to be. it really is kind of -- >> we're not in the campaign season anymore. they don't have to put out everything that the press asks for. this was unnecessary. >> let's move on. republicans are -- they seem to be having a hard time finding a u.s. senate candidate in massachusetts. hold on for a moment.
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i want to bring in our congressional correspondent kate bolduan. >> with john kerry moving to the state department, it sets up a lot of attention on the special election in massachusetts to fill his senate seat. in just a matter of days, it really seemed to be a one-two-three punch against any republican chances trying to once again turn a massachusetts senate seat from blue to red. first it was former senator scott brown. seen by many as the republican's best shot to win the seat vacated by john kerry. brown announced he's sitting out. then richard tesay, the former massachusetts state senate gop leader. he he said saturday he's out as well. quickly following suit, former republican governor william welt, announcing monday he's also not running. >> they're kind of running out of top-flight potential. >> reporter: now with few
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high-profile prospects and little time left to find a candidate, some republicans are floating an unexpected option. tagg romney, mitt romney's oldest son. tagg romney was a key adviser during his father's presidential bid, and he lives and works in the state. john berg is with suffolk university in boston. >> it's kind of a mark of desperation. first they tried to get his mother. she made it clear she didn't want to. the joke being around is it will be the horse next. >> reporter: a source close to the romneys tells cnn tagg is thinking about it but it's unlikely. even if he runs, could he win in a state his father lost by 23 points last year? >> i think he would have a real uphill struggle. from the point of view of the republican party, it does get a name in there and, you know, with some visibility and might be better than nothing for them. but i think that his chances of actually winning are pretty low. >> reporter: still, the speculation isn't going away. even some of his own family have suggested in the past that tagg
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would be the next romney to run. >> who wants to follow in your grandfather's foot steps and in your dad's foot steps and be a politician? raise your hand right now. >> i'd like to follow their foot step, just not the political part. >> everyone keeps suggesting -- >> someone asked if it was important for my grandfather's legacy for my dad to win. the thing i stress is, my grandfather's legacy wasn't about politics or business. it was about the way you treat people. the way you raise your family. the way you live your life. >> very politician-like answer that he gave you, wolf. no matter who throws their hat into the ring, they do need to move quickly here in massachusetts. any candidate needs to gather 10,000 signatures in the next 23 days to qualify for the ballot and a primary is set for april 30th. that is of course if there is even more than one republican running in the state. then they face off against the democratic candidate at the end of june. the special election is 4 1/2 months away. >> let the politics begin in
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massachusetts. thanks, kate, for that. let's bring back paul begala, ana navarro. tagg is impressive. i think he would be an formidable candidate. what do you think? >> i think so too. i think we shouldn't judge him by his father. certainly the romney name is going to have very high i.d. whether it gets approval, i think it's up to tagg. there are other candidates. there's the former lieutenant governor who we haven't heard from. there's also a former navy s.e.a.l. named gabriel mendez who i think is considering it. he's in the financial industry. so it's a wide-open field. wolf, special elections are special, anything can happen. they're quick, money helps. name i.d. helps. i think it's an open race. remember, scott brown wasn't supposed to win his special election and he did. >> i don't know if you look closely, the democrats had congressman ed markey for example. you think he has the democratic nomination locked up? >> the democrats are cowelle
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cowellessing around him. that's a good thing. ana's right. if you look at brown, he didn't have the big money or the famous name. the republicans are looking for love in all the wrong places. tagg romney is impressive. he hasn't done very much in the public arena. his father lost the state by 23 points. i looked up, the town of belmont, not exactly, you know, a left-wing territory. it's pretty liberal. romney lost that almost 2 to 1. i would say don't look for a name, look for a message. scott brown won because he has a message. strongly anti-obama care at a time when even massachusetts was wondering if it was the right thing to do. he's a great talent. i think they're looking at this in all the wrong ways -- >> tagg romney looking at it, he's completely entitled to. this is america. we can all aspire to run. you know, he's entitled to do it. if he's got a location for public service, i'd say welcome to the field. >> i always thought ann romney,
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the strongest talent in their family, when ann romney decided not to run. >> we'll see what happens in massachusetts. police face an excruciating wait in alabama. a 5-year-old held by a suspected killer. waiting around outside the bunker, authorities right now have few options. stop! stop! stop! come back here! humans -- we are beautifully imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world.
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let's go to martin savidge. he's on the scene for us in alabama where a 5-year-old is being held hostage. what's going on, martin?
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>> reporter: wolf, this is day six of this hostage crisis that's been going on. jimmy lee dykes is the suspect. we've been informed by authorities there's been a major development in this case. that's about the only way they will classify what's happened. we have noted there's been some significant activity taking place on site. we saw two ambulances go and then leave the property. they didn't have their lights on. we've also seen clusters of authorities on site as well. all of this of course unusual from what weem been watching over the past several days. and then we've been told there's going to be a news conference and a fairly significant one in just a few minutes. there was a news conference that was held earlier today. it was by the local sheriff. and he insinuated for the first time there could be a motive to all this. listen to what he had to say. >> i can't really comment on anything specific. the communications, anything like that, that's been going on. what i can say generally is
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based on our discussion with mr. dykes, he feels like he has a story that's important to him. although it's very complex. we tried to make a safe environment for all for that. >> reporter: and that's all dale county sheriff wally olson would say on the matter. as this hostage drama drags on, authorities have remained tight-lipped, not wanting to say anything that would jeopardize negotiations. noting the huge public interest in the story, olson said even his own mother has been asking him about what's going on. >> my mother told me a lot things that were being said, you know, and i told her, you know, we're doing everything humanly possible can do to resolve this safely, you know, and bring this child home. >> reporter: another example of how careful authorities are with their answers. watch what happened when the
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sheriff was asked whether the child's mother would be able to talk to ethan, the kidnapped 5-year-old. [ inaudible ] >> thank you for your time. >> reporter: meanwhile, in ozark, the town next door to midland city where the tragedy began, school resumed for the first time. extra police were on hand to provide security this morning. while anxious parents found it difficult to let go. >> that safety net we thought, you know, you send your children on a school bus thinking that they're going to be safe, and then situations arise and happen and makes you restrategize. >> wolf, in the past couple of minutes, we have been receiving notifications from residents in the area. they say they heard gunfire and they also heard an explosion. let me push off and show you in the distance there on the hill. you'll be able to see -- i think if i get out of the way -- that there are what appear to be officers, armed officers up there. that's something we don't
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normally see. now, we've also heard that there may have been some sort of movement in regard to the man that's been holding this young boy hostage. unconfirmed reports say maybe he has been wounded or otherwise. we reached out to authorities. they said they wouldn't comment because they have not seen that yet. the wording crucial because it would seem to imply there's something to be seen and perhaps something has happened. it could be of course a huge development. right now, authorities are being extremely tight-lipped. we're only being told that the federal authorities are going to hold a news conference and they of course have been the ones in charge of this site ever since late tuesday night, on the day this all began when the bus driver was shot and killed and 5-year-old ethan was taken as a hostage. again, you're looking, if you can, over on the crest of that hill, at the authorities. there is -- i think there's a white humvee up there. clearly there's activity. just beyond that hill that we
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know is the area where jimmy lee dykes' trailer and where the bunker that he has been sequestered in is. we continue to monitor, we continue to watch. most of all, we continue to wait for word from authorities that perhaps there is some resolution in this case. >> the microphones, where the authorities will come to report on what's going on, are they near you, where you are? are they up on the hill? where are they? >> reporter: yeah, the microphones -- when the authorities come and give the news conference, literally just 25 feet, steps away from where we are nigright now. it's quite clear that things changed here. maybe about 45 minutes to an hour ago. the whole posture not just of the media but especially of what we've been watching over there, you can just start to see behind me here, a helicopter that's starting to wind up. one of the helicopters had already been referred to as the
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potential for a life flight. in other words, to fly somebody out. instead, it was two ambulances and they moved without any lights or siren or without any great speed. again what you can read of that, i don't know, but there's definitely been a change, wolf, and we're waiting to find out from the authorities here exactly what it means. of course, the hope of this community is the fact that it means that ethan has been saved and that all of this protracted ordeal has been brought to an end, but right now authorities are saying nothing. and that's really the way it has been. because for the most part this community and the authorities were afraid if they did speak, it could somehow jeopardize the negotiations. they felt that jimmy lee dykes had a way to monitor, maybe watching news reports, maybe listening in to the police in some way. so they were always very careful in their words, very careful in how they phrased. even as you heard the sheriff about two days ago thank the hostage taker for the care he was giving to the little boy.
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always that consideration that he could be listening. so we wait and we want to hear some words this has been brought to an end, wolf. >> those ambulances you're talking about, were they seen going towards the site, leaving the site? what precisely can you tell us about the ambulances? >> they went in both directions. that was one of the first indicators we had. we saw an ambulance that went away from the compound. you see the cluster of vehicles that are here, that have been here that make up the command center. but it went up a dirt road and over the hill. and that's the first time we've seen something like that. so it was an indication, all right, movement, and a different sort of movement. and then maybe about 45 minutes later. the ambulances returned. again, no sense of urgency. lights weren't flashing. sirens weren't going. they didn't go screeching out of the parking lot or anything like that. but they did head into -- they
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head away from the site. that's what we know. now we can see at least one of the helicopters beginning to fire up and clearly getting ready to move. >> is that like a medevac helicopter? martin, is that a helicopter that can carry someone who's injured let's say? >> it could. it's not specifically from a hospital or any life flight that you recognize. this is one of the sheriff's helicopters or state police helicopters. looks like a bell ranger so a pretty utilitarian helicopter. in front of it, you see the sleek gold and black sheriff's helicopter. that too is sitting there. again, it wasn't like you saw crews running to get on board. there has been a very -- i guess you could just say calm demeanor about all of this. you have not seen authorities rushing about. you have not seen anyone
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shouting, gesturing, pointing. there's not a sense of urgency here. but there is clearly a sense that things have changed and that some sort of development has taken place. as we say, the authorities have notified us now that the federal authorities on site are going to hold a press briefing. up till now, they've been very sensitive about the fact that local law enforcement has been the primary spokesperson for the public. they're well aware of the sensitivities in this community and elsewhere. local law enforcement takes the lead. but we also know that it's been the fbi, their hostage negotiators and the hostage rescue teams that have been the primary source of communication with mr. dykes inside of that bunker. there, you watch the helicopter lift off. going overhead. so it's the feds that have really been leaving the negotiations. and why we think it's significant. now they're going to step to the
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forefront when they've been in the background to deliver what information it is that they will deliver. so, again, we wait. we watch the posture of security officials. again, looking at the people up on the hill in the distance there. the suv that's up there or the humvee. all subtle but indicating something has changed. we have reports from people in the area who said they heard an explosion. said they heard gunfire. and we also, as we've reported, have been told that something has happened with the hostage taker, mr. dykes. we queried authorities. their only answer was they couldn't confirm anything because they have not seen him. again, maybe reading too much into those words, but that phrasing is very interesting, wolf. >> let's talk a little about jimmlee dykes. the man who allegedly boarded a school bus and shot and killed a
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driver, charles allen poland jr. before taking this little 5-year-old hostage and take him to this underground bunker here in midland city, alabama. what else do we know about this suspect? >> well, you know, he's been estranged from his family according to those who have been neighbors to mr. dykes. they say his family hasn't had much to do with him over the past couple of years. he is a military veteran. he served during the time of the vietnam war. he was in the u.s. navy. and he worked in the aviation assets but primarily we're told he worked doing paperwork and things like that. so it's not like he was a fro - front-line combat troop but he certainly served during the vietnam war and we're also told by neighbors, this something they said he has espoused, anti-government feelings, that he's not real keen on the government. and then we know that of course he built himself a shelter. and someone called it a bunker.
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some had called it a storm shelter. which is where he has been for past days with the 5-year-old boy. beyond that, he's been isolated from the community. he has had run-ins with his neighbors. he was supposed to go to court last wednesday to answer pertaining to an altercation back in december in which he made threats against neighbors. so there have been problems in the neighborhood with him. but he has pretty much been a man who kept to himself and seemed to want to be that way till all of this exploded on tuesday, wolf. >> martin, hold on for one second. here's the breaking news. cnn can now report based on what a law enforcement source has told cnn, that the little 5-year-old is safe. he is fine. the kidnapper, the suspect in this case, is dead. cnn can now report that the kidnapper, the suspect, is dead.
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there's a picture of him in midland city, alabama. for seven days, he was holding a little 5-year-old hostage. we are told ethan is safe. he is okay. this all according to a law enforcement source. obviously, dramatic developments. as martin savidge has been reporting. has taken place within the past hour or so ago. martin, you were there with us. you hear the news. as all of our viewers have heard the news. ethan is safe. the hostage hold, the suspect in this case, is dead. and you were telling us we're bracing for a formal news conference by federal authorities to report what's going on. >> right. wolf, i have to tell you that is the same information we had received on the ground, although we hadn't had it from an official enough source that we were ready to go to air with it. probably about 45 minutes ago there were reports of gunfire, an explosion. it wasn't long after we began to hear reports in fact mr. dykes
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was dead and that the 5-year-old little boy has been, now, rescued. and that he is in good shape. you know, i don't think anyone's going to rejoice over this. they're of course very happy that 5-year-old little boy has been saved. i think many people thought this was going to end far better than it did. we don't know what prompted authorities to act, we really don't know. that's maybe something we're going to get out of the federal officials when they come to talk to us. because up till now, it's always been felt that even though this was a hostage situation, that dykes was not directly a threat to the little boy. in fact, family members and friends and those who say they've known dykes from when he grew up, that he loved children and he would never do anything to harm the little boy. why they moved in this way, we don't know. we'll have to get a full explanation from the federal authorities when they hold a news conference. which we anticipate will be minutes from now. that will explain why we saw the two ambulances. it would also explain why we've seen the change in demeanor here. if all of this went and played
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down in just the last few minutes, i think this community is going to be relieved that the ordeal is over. but it's bittersweet. because someone has died. they already have the death of charles poland. too many in this community, consider him a hero. when dykes got on that bus, poland reportedly stood up and blocked the way of the gunman while the kids went out the back door. this community will never forget the selfless act he took. he was buried just yesterday. now the developments of today. wolf. >> martin, hold on for a moment. it's now the top of the hour. 5:00 p.m. here on the east coast. i just want to update our viewers who may just be tuning in. we have now confirmed from a law enforcement source that the little 5-year-old boy being held hostage in an underground bunker for seven days has been released and he is fine, we are told. the suspect in this case, jimmy lee dykes, the man who was
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accused, charged, with killing this bus driver, charles albert poland jr., seven days ago, he is dead. but the boy we are told is fine. we're standing by for a news conference. federal and local authorities are about to go to the microphones and brief all of us on what's going on. this has been a seven-day ordeal. martin savidge is on the scene for us in midland city, alabama. also on the phone, chris voss, a former fbi lead international kidnapping negotiator. what do you think, chris? you and i have discussed this case. if in fact the little boy is fine, and that's what a law enforcement source is now telling cnn, the 5-year-old is fine. the suspect in this case is dead. this is the outcome of this seven-day ordeal. what goes through your mind, chris? >> well, wolf, you know, they told me a couple days ago that they were a little bit concerned because they didn't see -- they
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knew dykes didn't see a way out of this for him. unfortunately what goes in this territory, is it's part of the job to orchestrate something like this. it sounds to me like negotiators and tactical people worked together and took the only option they possibly could in order to save the little boy's life. >> and so we don't know why -- the details, we're going to be end tooing out the details of how this unfolded. the good news is the little boy is fine, is safe, is okay. and we don't know if this was the result of some sort of operation that was going on. we have no information on the details, other than the boy is fine. the suspect is dead. in normal situations, and you've been involved in a lot of these kinds of kidnapping negotiations, with a kidnapper, with people who are being held hostage, if you will. is this the normal outcome? what's your experience? >> no, this isn't the normal outcome. but every hostage negotiator,
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every s.w.a.t. team leader has to recognize the earmarks when they see it and have to begin to plan it. nine out of ten times, the hostage taker surrenders. so this was definitely an unusual situation. >> the fact that we're dealing with a hostage who's only 5 years old, that changes the situation as opposed to someone holding adults. >> it does change the dynamics. it can cause a negotiation to veer in a direction where you try to get the hostage taker to do more to take care of the hostage and you can exploit that if you have to. >> you have to assume in an underground bunker like this that the suspect did have access to outside information. whether from television or radio or whatever. and had the sense of what was going on. isn't that right? >> yeah, yeah, absolutely. assume from the beginning. since he's prepared for this in advance and he clearly has prepared for it in advance, he
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gave himself the means to monitor the media while he was inside. >> what kind of signals do these negotiators and you've been an fbi negotiator dealing with hostage holders, what do you look for, if you're going to make a decision to, for example, launch an operation and go inside and try and save this 5-year-old what would cause you to break up the discussions, the talking, and just go for the operation? >> well, you constantly listen for whether or not they have any vision of the future. and what that vision of the future looks like. and you can paint a pretty clear picture of how they think it's going to come out. you start to establish patterns with the person you're talking to. whether it's a sleep pattern. whether it's an eat pattern. anything you can do to predict their movements increases the chance of a likelihood of a tactical intervention. >> in a situation like this, i know they're professional negotiators from the fbi or other law enforcement agencies
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talking to this particular individual, jimmy lee dykes, but is it normal to also bring in acquaintances or friends or family members of the suspect to try to talk some sense into that person? >> from the very first moment that law enforcement showed up on the scene, and it would have been a multiagency hostage negotiation scene, from the sheriff's, police department, fbi, one of the things they do is identify exactly the people you're talking about, and begin to talk to them and assess them for whether or not they can put them on the phone or just advise the situation. >> and where it goes from there. hold on, chris. chris voss is a former fbi hostage negotiator. martin savidge is with us, on the scene in midland city, alabama. does it look like they're getting any closer, the fbi, other federal, local authorities, to coming to those mics and briefing us and what's going on? >> i'd love to say they were, but no, there's no indication.
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we haven't seen anybody across the street. we've not seen anybody make their approach. we're watching carefully the compound and the area the authorities have been gathered now. no, i'm looking at people there, but there's no way to tell. so we continue to watch. and just wait for them to come across the street. we expect, given what has transpired, it should be a significant group of both local and federal law enforcement and they're going to give us insight into how this all went down. you know, again going back to the reports we heard from those in the area, they were actually reaching out to me, and they said did i hear that explosion, did i hear that gunfire. as you can see, we're situated next to a busy highway. so as a result, any sounds were pretty heavily masked by the traffic. it's clear the people on the other side of the highway and apparently -- in a closer direction to where this is all playing out, heard it. this is a first indication there was an explosion. and then there was the sound of
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gunfire. it sounds like there may have been a move, an entry that may have been made by hostage rescue team that the fbi has here. or could this have been in response to, in other words, perhaps the gunman taking his own life? we simply don't know. what we do know is jimmy lee dykes is dead. and 5-year-old ethan is now safe and okay. and presumably is now being checked out and hopefully reunited with his family. so we are waiting, wolf, for any indication that that news conference is going to begin. right now, we just don't see it. >> where has his family been during these seven days? are they on the scene there together with the -- those who have been talking to this individual, to this suspect? >> we don't really know, wolf. the mother, in this particular case, and that's the only sort of direct family member i have been told of, has been very carefully sequestered, and so we really have not had any image, other than from talking with locals who occasionally had a
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chance to speak with her. she's been greatly distraught, as you can understand. we also -- there was a question actually that was brought up to the sheriff earlier today. in fact, a reporter was asking, has the mother had the opportunity to speak to her child while he was being held captive inside of the bunker. and it was interesting, the sheriff appeared he was just about to answer that question when he was quite forcefully nudged out of the way by a state police officer who seemed to be indicating, you know what, that's some information we just don't want revealed at this particular time. so we never really got an answer to that. and we've never really had a clear insight about the family. we just know that like any family, any parent, you would be just absolutely distraught, worried about your child. we know that authorities had reassured her that dykes was looking after the child, was providing heating for the child, blankets, and requesting toys
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and even snacks. so it appeared he did have a caring fashion about him, if you can say that, considering the fact he was also holding that child hostage, and it was always believed by the people here in midland city that despite the fact he had killed the bus driver, despite the fact he'd taken the 5-year-old into custody, he would never have harmed that child. whether federal authorities saw or thought something different, we don't know yet. but clearly, it has played out in a way not everybody here would have liked, with the death of one but the saving of course the good news of that 5-year-old little boy. >> obviously, all of us are very thrilled the little 5-year-old ethan is okay. the suspect is dead. we don't know the circumstances. other than there was an explosion. gunshots were heard. we'll be getting more information momentarily from authorities at that news conference. remind our viewers here in the united states, martin, and around the world, what happened
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seven days ago when jimmy lee dykes boarded that school bus that was carrying what, about 20 or 21 kids. >> right, it was 3:40 in the afternoon. the school bus was taking the kids back home. i mean, that would be the route it was taking. from midland city, it's a very small community. only about 2,000 people. this bus would have had children of all ages on it. as you say, about 21 people. and charles was the man driving. he'd been driving for about four years for the county school system. anyway, he was at the end of a private road and he had stopped because he saw mr. dykes. this is what we're hearing from witnesses. mr. dykes seemed to have something in his hand, nonthreatening. and so that's when the bus driver stopped, opened the door, mr. dykes came on board and he began demanding he wanted two of the children. it was then the bus driver, chuck poland, realized this was
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not a typical situation, and there could be a problem here. he reportedly stood up from the bus driver's seat, in the aisleway, and he blocked access of mr. dykes to the children. in the meantime, the children began going out the back door. the gunman seemed to back off, but then fired four times, killing the bus driver and then grabbing one of the children that apparently had fainted, that's 5-year-old ethan, and then made his way from there a short distance to the bunker he had built on his property right next to his trailer. so that's how it began. and really that's the way it has been now, wolf, for the past seven days. this story has garnered tremendous attention. there are crews here literally from all over the world. including japanese television. it has captured people in a way that other situations have not. i suppose the innocence of the child and the unusual nature in which that child is being held. and then of course all of the
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focus you're seeing. but, again, the good news, there has been a rescue operation. it appears it was conducted just a short while ago. the gunman is now dead. and the 5-year-old boy has been rescued. and he's said to be be in good condition. we wait for a news conference to begin from federal authorityies. in the meantime, we try to read the tea leaves from what's happening behind us. the activity, as far as the armed officers that we saw on the property, now they're out of sight. again, we don't see any indication of that press conference. it's clear they're trying to get the information in before they come and talk to us. >> which they should do, obviously. martin, i'm going to let you do some reporting. stand by. we'll get back to you. should point out that little ethan does suffer from what we're told is a mild form of asberger's syndrome and attention deficit disorder. requiring some medication as well. let's talk with chris voss. he's on the phone. he's a former fbi kidnapping
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negotiator. if you have a little boy like this, 5 years old, he's being held in a bunker and needs medication and the suspect, the hostage holder, lets that medication come in to help the little boy, what does that say to you about what's going on? >> look, it's a couple of things. it says he's developing a working relationship with the hostage negotiators. and he's willing to work with them. also ideally tells you he's beginning to show some concern for the hostage. the little boy, ethan, in this case. so it's a good sign on several levels. and the way that he refers to the little boy and the conversation is going to be critical as to know how he sees him and how much danger the little boy is in. >> we don't know what motivated this suspect, jimmy lee dykes, to board that bus, demand two kids. the bus driver resisted. blocking access. the bus driver, charles poland, a hero, was killed.
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the suspect in this case, jimmy lee dykes, grabbing little ethan, taking him to this underground nker. in a situation like this, psychologically, what motivates someone? why would someone, an adult, like this particular case, jimmy lee dykes, go ahead, take a 5-year-old, and go to this underground bunker that's described as some sort of survival camp. >> sort of in his world, it was clear he only functioned in that very limited world on his property and his bunker and the world he built for himself very close by. so he felt threatened because of the court date probably. also, he viewed, more than likely viewed that bus as a continuing intrusion on his world. it just happened to be in the way. and the more threatened he felt, that was simply the closest opportunity he had to try to pull more defenses around him. >> hold on a moment, chris. want to go back to martin
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savidge. he's on the scene for us in midland city, alabama. martin, we're waiting for the news conference. federal, local authorities, they're about to brief all of us on what has happened. just update those viewers who are tuning in. the 5-year-old boy, ethan, is okay. the suspect is dead. what else are you learning? >> we also know there was gunfire and there was an explosion. to that point, i want to bring in brian martin. he's a neighbor and he was outside when all of this went down. and it was pretty clear to you something was happening, right? >> oh, yeah, i knew something was going on. >> what was the indication, the first one? >> i heard a big boom, and then i heard -- i believe i heard rifle shots. >> and give us a sense how loud of a boom. i mean, very loud? >> oh, yeah, literally made me jump off the ground it scared me that much. >> what did you think of that time? >> i knew immediately they done something done here. >> were you surprised it came to
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this? >> no, not really. i figured they were going to blow him out of there and try to get the kid. >> you didn't see any other way this could be resolved, that he would be talked out that this would end with no one being hurt? >> it didn't seem like it, after so long being in there. >> we should point out brian, as we said, is a neighbor of mr. dykes. you've met and spoken to him. >> i've talked to him once or twice. i rode my four wheeler out there. he pointed me in the right direction to go. he was a little strange but i didn't think nothing of it then. >> there was no indication what has transpired would happen. >> no, no. i can't believe it happened in our little town. >> what do you think is the reaction? what is the feeling now in this town about what's happened? >> i'm sure everybody's happy that little boy's out of there and he's well. >> this has been -- i can't tell you enough, how much of a focus, of people's prayers, people's
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thoughts have been on that little boy. >> i prayed for seven days. >> this is an area where people are deep in their faith. and even yesterday at the memorial service for the bus driver, a mr. poland, they prayed for mr. dykes, prayed that he'd have a change of heart and prayed this would end peacefully. give us a sense how much people have really been caught up in this. >> nothing happened like this around herer. not that i know of. but we got a lot of people in this area that pray a lot and do a lot for the churches. >> and now that it's ended with gunfire and with an explosion and with the death of mr. dykes, do you think this community is going to be able to heal? >> as long as that little boy's all right, yes. >> all right, brian, thank you, thank you very much. and, again, it was quite clear to neighbors, anybody who was near that area, that something happened. the explosion was very loud. the gunfire that came after that was a clear indication this was some kind of entry being made by
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federal authorities. now we know the gunman is dead and the 5-year-old little boy is alive and well. no doubt being checked out now by medical authorities. and then probably running into the arms or going to be greeted by a mother who is just ecstatic and a community who will be equally relieved he is safe and sound. people were really, really worried about that little boy in a hole. little ethan. and everywhere you go, there's signs, prayers for ethan. we'll wait for this news conference. we were told it was supposed to happen by now. still no indication, wolf. we're standing by. you can see the large cluster of microphones are set. we're just a few minutes away. so the moment that anyone steps to this microphone, we'll bring it to you. >> we're standing by for that news conference. federal authorities have taken the lead, kidnapping being a federal charge if you will. but local authorities will be there as well. martin, hold on for a moment. joining us on the phone is the
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alabama state representative who over these past seven days has spoken with the family of the little 5-year-old ethan. representative, you haven't spoken with them today, have you? >> no, i haven't, wolf. this -- now joyous about the news we're getting. finally this nightmare has come to an end. >> have you heard any specifics on how it ended, what happened? >> no, just that ethan is relatively healthy. he's at the hospital there being checked out, and dykes is dead. whether he's dead by his own hand or dead by authorities, we don't know that. >> when you say relatively healthy, is there any indication he was wounded? >> no indication there, just the drama of being underground in this underground bunker for six days has got to be traumatic.
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>> you have heard -- i want to be precise -- that ethan is now in a hospital nearby in dothen, alabama, is that right? >> that's correct. >> how far from midland city is that? >> probably about seven, eight miles. >> so that's where he is. do you know if he's been reunited with his mom? >> i don't know that for sure. i know that she's -- was told and -- her and her mother, they were obviously ecstatic. i'm sure they've been reunited by now. >> and you suggest that we don't know how this suspect jimmy lee dykes died. you're saying it's possible he could have taken his own life? >> i'm saying i don't know. i don't know. >> we don't know what happened. how he died. >> we don't know how he died. >> we do know from eyewitnesss
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there was an explosion heard by gunfire. some gunshots. and they were pretty loud. we don't know obviously what that means, other than the situation looks like it's wrapped up. we're standing by. our viewers are seeing microphones in midland city, alabama, where the authorities are going to be going fairly soon to brief all of us. is there anything else you want to share with viewers? >> nothing other than just i hope the next time ya'll crews have to come back for a good reason, not something like this. but of course this ended on a happy note. but we still have to remember the slain bus driver. so a family who's devastated. of course we had that funeral yesterday. he'll go down as a hero because there's 22 other children that are safely in their family's arms right now because of him. >> he refused to cooperate with this suspect. he blocked the doors. and charles poland paid for that with his life. he is, in fact, a hero. there's a picture of mr. poland.
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we admire him and we send our deepest, deepest condolences to his family there in alabama. if you get some more information, let us know. alabama state representative who is joining us on the phone. you're looking at the live pictures from midland city in alabama. the microphones where the authorities will be going we're told momentarily to make the announcement that the little boy is fine. we heard from the state representative. he's now in a hospital in dothan, alabama, not that far away from midland city, and the suspect in this case, jimmy lee dykes, is dead. we don't know the circumstances of how this unfolded. we will be learning all those details very soon. martin savidge is on the scene for us as we await the news conference. martin what else are you learning? >> well, i have been joined now by the reverend. he's instrumental in all this because his church, just a short distance away. he was here moments after this
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drama began. i'm talking a week ago, last tuesday. he talked to some of those children that had escaped the bus in which mr. poland was killed and the young boy, ethan, was taken hostage. first, you've heard the news. >> yes, we've heard the news and of course as far as everything i know, just speculation at this time, but if it is what we hear and the little boy's okay, that's a very great thing. >> what about the condition of ethan? have you heard anything about that? >> i really have not heard a whole lot more than probably most everybody else has. because everything is -- everyone's been so tight-lipped about the situation. we have heard he's been taken very well care of. mr. dikes has allowed him to have food. even a few toys. some chips and stuff like that. that's pretty much all that we've heard. but that -- from the best we can understand is that he is okay physically. >> were you surprised it came to this, that it came to violence and eventually mr. dykes was
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ki killed? >> that really is not what i was expecting, nor hoping for. what i was hearing is they were going to wait this thing out. here we are now just a few hours away from being a week later from the situation. so, you know, we know by all indications this thing really needed to wind up and the main thing is this little boy is safe and back with his family. and we're just really hoping and praying that what we're hearing is true, that he is okay. >> you were talking to one of the children that managed to escape that bus. >> right. >> you were describing they were still in a very difficult way. >> yes, i was talking to one of the young men, 13 years old, that i had talked to about 35 minutes after it happened who was really having a rough time. but i saw him yesterday. he seemed to be in a lot better mood. he was actually playing with some other children that i know. and still has not said hardly anything about the situation. not even to his friends. i understand when somebody goes through something as traumatic as this, sometimes it's a long time before they'll even talk about it. >> these have been very, very difficult days on your
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community. >> it really has. we never expected anything like this to take place here in southeast alabama. but i'm really thankful for the people of this community. we've got some good folks here in midland city, in the area. folks have really come together. churches have come together. and have had prayer vigils. even a lot of the locals have had prayer vigils every night in midland city. said they would have it every night till ethan was set free. we see a community of folks that really care for one another and just care for life and just care for anybody. >> what do you think, how quickly can this community heal and move on? >> well, i know that it's going to take some time. especially for the children and the parents that have -- especially young kids in school. i've talked to several that said they were scared to allow their children to go back to school, much less ride a school bus again. there's going to be emotional scars. but the community itself is real strong and we'll get through this with the help of the lord. >> reverend, thank you very
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much. >> thank you, nice to meet you. >> wolf, talking about that issue, there are a lot of parents that are going to be very concerned about placing their children on a school bus here in this community. neighboring ozark, the city just started school for the first time today since this tragedy. we were there. we watched the buses come in. we watched the parents drop off their children. many are very worried. they're actually is a state law right now that had not been enforced but will be which is that no person other than a child is allowed within the perimeter of a school bus within 15 feet. that's the superintendent of ozark schools saying they will begin to enforce that. a bus comes to a bus stop it stops 15 feet away. even a parent cannot approach the bus. only a child. if an adult does make their way towards a bus, the bus driver is told to close the door and drive off. it was something they didn't used to do but life is not the way it was down here in midland city. again, no sign of anyone coming to the microphones. but we're ready and waiting to bring it to you as soon as they
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do. wolf. >> martin, stand by. we're going to get by to you. obviously as soon as the authorities come to those microphones. we'll carry that news conference live. we'll hear exactly how that happened. how they saved the life of this little 5-year-old and the kidnapper is now dead. we don't know the circumstances. other than eyewitnesses heard an explosion. followed by gunshots. followed by confirmation from a law enforcement source to cnn that ethan is okay. and that the kidnapper is dead. we were told by state representative steve klaus that ethan is now in a local hospital, dothan, alabama, not that far away. we hope he's with his mom, with his family. and he's beginning to adjust. let's talk about this adjustment process. a forensic psychologist is joining us. tell us about what they need to do. a 5-year-old. he's almost 6 years old. he suffers apparently from a
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mild form ofs an purchasinger's syndro syndrome, attention deficit disz order. what do they need to do to get this boy going, restart his life? >> it's going to be a bit complicated. first of all, by the fact that he does have asperger's. the problem there is oftentimes, as many people know, that means that there's difficulty with communication skills. and one the things that is going to be especially difficult is to get him to be able to verbalize in a very nuanced way what he needs to say about what happened. i think that's going to be their biggest hurdle. getting him to talk about the trauma. it's going to have to take place in his time, when he feels like talking about it. so the first thing is they're going to need to take him to a place where he feels very, very safe. the fact that he was ripped from that bus under those circumstances means that his
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sense of safety, potentially, could be compromised almost for the rest of his life. a stain of that memory. so trying to reach him verbally, making him safe, letting him know that the people who were talking to him, that he can trust them. that's going to be their biggest hurdle. >> we see someone standing at the microphones. not exactly sure who he is. let's listen in quickly. >> -- as well as hugh mccall, alabama department of public safety, we're going to give a briefing on the development that took place in this investigation. this will not be an opportunity -- they will not entertain questions. we will have opportunities later for that. this is a general briefing to discuss the development of what happened here today so should be in five minutes. steve richardson. the spelling, richardson, traditional. r-i-c-h-a-r-d-s-o-n. i'm sure you all know wally olson, o-l-s-o-n.
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hugh mccall. first name, h-u-g-h, mccall, m-c-c-a-l-l. thank you. [ inaudible ] we'll have that later this evening. we'll let you know. we'll update you as soon as that's -- thank you. okay, thank you. it will be five minutes. >> there you have it, five minutes from now, the authorities will come to the microphones and tell us what happened. how this little boy was saved. we want to welcome our viewers not only here in the united states, we want to welcome our viewers around the world who are watching us here in "the situation room." for those i vviewers tuning in "the situation room," i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we're following a dramatic story that's been unfolding in midland city, alabama, for seven days. a little 5-year-old, almost 6-year-old boy, named ethan, has been held hostage by a kidnapper, jimmy lee dykes. we're told now within the past
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hour or so something happened. there was an explosion. gunfire, dykes is dead. the 5-year-old, ethan, is fine. we're told by a state representative, steve klaus, that ethan is now in dothan, not far away, at a hospital. federal and local authorities are about to brief all of us on what happened, how this unfolded. i believe they're walking over to the microphones right now. they said five minutes from now but maybe they're going to start a little earlier. let's listen in to see if that does start a little bit earlier. you see the local sheriff. you see other authorities. so let's listen. >> good afternoon. i'm steve richardson, special agent in charge. with me today is sheriff wally olson. colonel hugh mccall with the alabama bureau of investigation. major neil, chief of the alabama bureau of investigation.
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at approximately 3:12 this afternoon, fbi agents safely recovered the child who's been held hostage for nearly a week. within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated. and mr. dykes was observed holding a gun. at this point, fbi agents, fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child. the child appears physically unharmed and is being treated at a local hospital. the subject is deceased. the resolution to this matter is a direct result of the extraordinary collaboration between law enforcement at all levels. the exhaustive efforts and dedication of this community's law enforcement is truly exemplary. i want to thank everyone in this community that has supported us throughout the past few days. i know there are several questions that need to be
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answered. and more questions to come. we will have an opportunity to address these later as more details become available. thank you very much. >> can you tell us how the raid went down -- how did this all happen? >> this time, i'd just like to thank everybody for your continued patience. the community's support. we appreciate everybody in law enforcement pulling together to get this job done. thank you. >> sheriff, can you give us a sense of how it went down, sir? >> on behalf of the department of safety, we had all of our resources from the state of alabama to assist in the safe recovery of the child. that's the important thing, we have a safe recovery of the child. thank you. >> again, thank you. i know there's a lot more details we're interested in. we'll have that opportunity very soon. we will alert you when that time comes. thank you. >> excuse me, when -- >> so there you have the
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official word, the official confirmation. the little boy ethan is fine. at least physically. he's in a local hospital. we hope with his mom, with his family. the kidnapper in this case is dead. you heard the description from steve richardson, the fbi special agent from mobile who's in charge of this investigation of this case, kidnapping being a federal crime. chris voss is here with me. chris, you're a former lead negotiator for the fbi. when you heard this description, it looked like the situation was deteriorating, they thought the little boy was in danger, and at which point they went into action. >> absolutely. he made a telling remark. it's a negotiator's job to keep track of the let threat level. they're looking for specific words that might indicate whether it's going up or whether it's going down. clearly the negotiators had strong indicators the threat level was rising. >> because they thought that the
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kidnapper, jimmy lee dykes, had a weapon, that potentially he could have used against little ethan. >> absolutely. he was under threat at all times. he had a weapon inside there. it's a negotiate ernegotiator's figure out how far away he is from making a move against the hostage to kill a little boy. if they talk to him enough, they can get a pretty good idea when a threat level's rising. even a timetable that mr. dykes might have had for taking that action. they had to move in because there what an imminent threat. >> when they move in and eyewitnesses said they first heard an explosion followed by gunshots, what does that say to you, how do they move in, how do they get the little boy out safely? >> explosion would have been a diversion. they needed to move mr. dykes attention to some other area. it was speed and surprise. and that's how they create surprise. >> when i hear explosion, i think maybe they have to explode an area to get in, to get the
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passage way in. we have a diagram of what it looks like. but it's underground. as you can see the size of this bunker. >> from the very moment the hostage rescue team, hostage negotiators showed up, they would have started planning immediately what they would have to do in the event of an emergency assault. >> the fbi has trained personnel who are -- who have practiced, would know how to do this. >> the hostage rescue team, that's why they're there. they're a counterterrorist response team and they're capable of moving in to situations like this and getting the job done. >> so the fbi goes in to a town like midland city, alabama, and they take charge of this operation. >> well, it's not so much taking charge but helping put the team together so everybody can collabora collaborate. the senior level officials of all the agencies who you just saw, they need to work together as a team. it's not as important as who's in charge but exactly how well they work together as a team. >> you understand why they didn't want to take reporter's questions at this early stage.
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they want to make sure they have all the information precise instead of giving out some information that might not be accurate. >> exactly. all this happened so quickly. there's still a lot of things they need to make sure that they know before they report it. they're doing as much as they can to get the information out. >> now if they would have succeeded in convincing the kidnapper to give up and just walk out, hand over the little boy, and then you take this kidnapper into custody, that would have been a better outcome i assume than killing this guy. >> absolutely. that was the emphasis for the negotiations from the very beginning. they show up on the scene and they want to save everybody's life. and that's if the hostage holder's going to let them do it. if the kidnapper lets them. if he dictates it's going in another direction, law enforcement response. >> i assume when they went in there he was shot and killed because he was getting ready to take action and there was a threat to those coming in the fbi team. >> absolutely. help would have been an imminent
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threat. more so to the hostage than the law enforcement coming in. they go in to save lives and to eliminate a threat. >> so this is obviously the, not the perfect outcome but at least the little boy is okay. he's in a local hospital we're told in dothan over there. let me bring in lisa van susteren to help appreciate what the family of this little boy is about to endure. we heard the fbi agent, lisa, you heard him say physically ethan is unharmed, physically. >> yes, of course the issue is how he is psychologically and how his family is and the community is psychologically. you do suffer from the accumulative impact of all these incidents. we've had a lot incidents in the last couple of months. for the family, obviously, it can't get any worse than having something like this happen. on the positive side, it's clear that the whole nation has been stopped. looking at this. wondering about this.
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the level of professionalism and this hostage rescue team, these are all things that the family will find comfort. in addition, knowing that the larger community was so involved in this. their own perception of safety is going to be a real important ingredient in their child's perception of safety going forward. if they feel that they have gotten over this, it will be an immense help in getting their little boy to recover from that. >> certainly will. a lot of work is going to be needed. a lot of love and attention will be devoted to little ethan. let me read a statement we just got in from the alabama governor. robert bentley just issued a statement. i am thankful that the child who is abducted is now safe. i am so happy this little boy can now be reunited with his family and friends. we will all continue to pray for the little boy and his family as they recover from the trauma of the past several days. the governor's statement adds, we want to remember the family
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and friends of the bus driver, charles poland jr. a true hero willing to give up his life so others might live. we are all inspired by his courage and bravery. well said by the governor of alabama, robert bentley. martin savidge is there in midland city. martin, short, to the point, the fbi agent, the sheriff, the state representatives, they just made their brief statement. the details will come. the bottom line, headline is, and it's a good one, little 5-year-old ethan is okay. >> right, yeah, that basically is everything that people wanted to hear, at least here and certain lly across the country. then said the fbi made an entry. it was around 3:12. they say they decided to move first with the explosion, then with gunfire. they made that move because over the last 24 hours they say their negotiations with mr. dykes had gun to deteriorate and then he was observed with a gun and of
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course fearing, as always, tantamount, for the safety of that little boy, they made their move, they moved quickly and apparently effectively. the 5-year-old has been taken to nearby dothan. he's going to be checked out. and of course then he's going to be reunited with his family. we should also point out wednesday is the day that 5-year-old turns 6. so perhaps not the best of endings but it is a happy ending for many people in this community because above all ethan is safe. >> i hope he's -- he's already been reunited with his family in that hospital. martin savidge, thanks very much. we'll continue to watch. we'll stand by for the news conference when they come out and tell us exactly how this unfolded. we'll have coverage of that as well. the bottom line, ethan is okay. the kidnapper, jimmy lee dykes, is dead. our coverage will continue, all the other news as well. officemax is celebrating our new collaboration with go daddy! with an online package including: domain name,
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welcome back to "the situation room." i'm wolf blitzer in washington. president obama brought his push for new gun control in minneapolis today, calling for a comprehensive package of steps against gun violence. there's growing doubt one of the steps he's seeking can actually be taken. a ban on assault-type weapons. it faces an uphill battle in congress which gun control advocates and even the president himself seemed to acknowledge. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is joining us with more. what's the latest that you're hearing on this sensitive front? >> wolf, publicly, as you heard, president obama is still pushing for this assault weapons ban. but he seemed to acknowledge reality today. i'll tell you, even privately, talking amongst themselves, aides, since december, have
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really pushed the fact that it's background checks where they think they'll have the most luck. as scrutiny of the president's own experiences shooting a gun have come to get a closer look. proof that president obama has been skeet shooting. a picture from last august released by the white house this weekend. david plouffe, a former obama aide, tweeted, let the photoshop conspiracies begin. some critics did question if the photo was real. highlighting the mistrust advocates have of president obama as he tackles of issue of gun violence. >> we don't have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something. >> reporter: in minneapolis, he repeated his call for a ban on military-style assault weapons. >> that deserves a vote in congress. because weapons of war have no place on our streets. or in our schools or threatening our law enforcement officers. >> reporter: the measure lacks support in congress. even among some democrats like
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senate majority leader harry reid. he was asked this weekend if he would support it. >> i don't know, i didn't vote for the assault weapons last time because it didn't make sense. but i'll take a look at it. i think everyone acknowledges we should do something with background checks. >> reporter: president obama seemed to acknowledge a law requiring background checks for all gun purchases is more likely to clear congress. >> the vast majority of americans, including a majority of gun owners, support requiring criminal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun. >> reporter: but the nra is not on board. >> i think what they'll do is turn this universal check on the law abiding into a universal registry of law-abiding people. >> reporter: that wasn't always wayne la pierre's position. a group of more than 800 mayors ran this ad in washington, d.c. during the super bowl. drawing attention to the group's past support for universal
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background checks. >> no loopholes anywhere for anyone. >> reporter: and president obama said today in minneapolis essentially the nra is not speaking for its members when it comes to background checks, wolf. he said he is pursuing no legislation that would limit second amendment rights. and obviously the white house feels that the nra is saying that he is. >> brianna keilar at the white house for us. obviously a very, very important story as well. thank you. the president is meeting with opposition on another front as well. his nomination of jack lew to be the next treasury secretary. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash has some details on apparently growing republican opposition. >> reporter: it's the most serious of accusations. the president's nominee for treasury secretary may have broken federal law. this letter signed by eight senate republicans accuses jack lew of failing to warn congress
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about a medicare funding problem when he was the president's budget director. it's just the latest shot across the bow from republican jeff sessions who is openly trying to sink lew's nomination. sessions also says lew deceived congress by making false statements at this the 2011 hearing. >> i believe, mr. lew is flatly in error. >> reporter: sessions was pressing lew about a claim he made on cnn's "state of the union," that the president's election year 2012 budget would not add to the debt or deficit. >> our budget will get us over the next several years to the point where we can look at the american people in the eye and say, measure not add to the debt anymore. >> does this budget do it? >> i think we get to the point where -- >> does it do it? >> it gets us to the point where we stop adding to the problem of new spending. >> that goes up every year and the deficit -- the debt has increased. >> it was breathtakingly false. >> reporter: in a telephone interview with cnn, session,
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minced no words about his opposition to lew for treasury secretary. >> he's misrepresented fundamentally what he -- the budget that he has produced, and doesn't have any of a normal financial so fif cation that you would look for in a secretary of treasury. >> reporter: an administration official defended lew's claim that the president's budget wouldn't add to the debt, saying it's accurate if you don't account for the interest owed on the debt. sessions doesn't buy it. now or then. >> i respect your position, senator. >> well, >> i can't respect a position that suggests the budget reduces the debt. we are talking beyond each other. >> administration official i spoke with pushed back that lou deceived congress or broke any laws. as for session, is voting against lieu's nomination. he said he is not quite sure
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a jail in texas used a tazer on the man suspected of killing a well-known navy sniper and another man at a shooting range on saturday. he is on suicide watch and under 24-hour surveillance and jail officials said he is receiving death threats. officials used a tazer when he
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became aggressive with guards. another veteran will take him to a shooting range saturday. joining us now, one notion out there that they brought this suspect to this range for what was described as exposure therapy. what exactly is that? >> i heard that as well. hard to know for sure, but what exposure therapy is is something that has been around for a while. trying to slowly expose people who are suffering from ptsd, post traumatic stress disorder, exposing them to what the traumatic event was. with ptsd you have a magnified reaction to some sort of event. whether it's a loud noise or a smell can trigger the flash backs and can be haunting. about 20% of returning veterans
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have or will have ptsd. not much that works. this therapy will slowly innoculate back to the traumatic event. and talk them through it. it should be stressed that this is done in a controlled setting. you are basically trying to get people to relive this and talk through this in the past. now with this exposure, they will immerse them in similar situations to what caused the trauma in the first place. >> the former congressman ron paul who is a physician as you know, he tweeted this and will put it up on the screen. he tweeted, chris kyle's death seems to confirm that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword at a firing range doesn't make sense. does this therapy, does it make any sense? >> she right in the sense that
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this should be done by someone who is a professional in a controlled setting. the exposure therapy starts to build evidence behind how it might be able to work, keeping in mind there not good treatments at all that exist for ptsd. for example, we did a story not that long ago looking at virtual reality for the treatment of ptsd. having covered the war in iraq and afghanistan, i went through it where they put this virtual reality helmet on you and immersed you in situations. whether it's a convoy under fire or talk you through the situations. in small studies, the effectiveness has been up to 80% in treating the symptoms of ptsd. exposure therapy as a whole can work. whether it involves taking people to a firing range by someone who is not a trained
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professional, that may have been what he was referring to. >> we don't know for sure that this suspect even had ptsd. we are talking about it. what about violence among those veteran who is do come back with ptsd and a percentage of troop who is served do come back and have to be treated. is violence part of the impact of what this ptsd can cause? >> i think the best way to answer that is to say that it can be. i don't mean to be evasive, but if you look at all violent episodes, most don't occur by people who had ptsd as a whole. people who do have episodes of violence, it is typically reactive and not typically preplanned or predatory. i think that matters in terms of description, but it can occur. the violence can be associated with this and that's in part why
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when you hear about the descriptions has to be done in a controlled setting by people who are trained to do that. >> as usual, thanks very much. i want to remind our viewers at 10:00 p.m. eastern on tnt, monday mornings of dram a. you have written the basis for this. later tonight on tnt. >> thanks, wolf. >> we'll be right back at the top of the hour. senator menendez has spoken. get ready for that.
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within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated and mr. dikes was observed holding a gun. at this point fbi agents fearing
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the child was in imminent danger entered the bunker and rescued the child. the child appears physically unharm and is being treated at a local hospital. the subject is deceased. the resolution in this matter is a direct result of the extraordinary collaboration between law enforcement at all levels. the exhaustive efforts and dedication of this community's law enforcement is exemplary and want to thank everyone in this community that supported us throughout the past few days. i know there several questions that need to be answer and more questions to come. we will have an opportunity to address these later as more details become available. >> steve richardson, he has been on the ground in midland, alabama. there was an explosion and gunshots and how do we know
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about how this went down? >> as you heard the fbi explaining, apparently things over 24 hours in their negotiations and they have been in constant contact inside of that bunker. they got the feeling they were falling apart and a gun that was seen and they were worried and they mead their move. that's how we heard about it. neighbors in the area said hey, did you hear that? there was a loud bang and gunfire and everyone knew what they that meant. the answer to their prayers is that the 5-year-old is transported and being reunited with his family. that's what they are praying for. the death of mr. dikes is unfortunate and many would like to have not seen that happen, but he was the man accused of triggering all of this. not the best resolution, but the
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happiest news is that the little enjoy safe and the word is spreading in this small town. they may not be celebrating, but they are gratified it came to an end. i'm sure everyone is relieved he will be unharmed. work needs to be done and everyone is relieved he is okay. martin, you have been covering the story from the beginning. it could have been a lot worse. these special agents deserve a lot of credit for saving the boy. >> they doe and local law enforcement played a significant role. the fbi was leading the negotiations with dikes since he was in the bunker and the teams that they refer to that made the assault and rescued the little
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boy. they act and were backed up by local authorities. it was the local authorities to the media and the community. they worked well together and the best news is that the little boy is home. >> the alabama governor released a statement a little while ago and he said i am thankful that the child who is abduct side now safe. i am happy this boy can be reunited with his family and friends. we will continue to pray for the boy and his family as they recover from the trauma of the last several days. at the same time the governor said we also want to remember the family and friends of the bus driver, charles poland jr. this man was a true hero who was willing to give up his life so others may live. we are inspired by his courage and bravery.
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>> we have a cnn exclusive right now. the embattled senator robert menendez who is under fire for allegations he slept with prostitutes in the caribbean has just spoken out to dana barb who is joining us live from capitol hill. the first public comments in detail of what's going on from his perspective. what did he say? >> should i give you the context in that the senator wanted to talk. he came out off of the senate floor to talk in an area where cameras are not permitted. he wanted to talk to us apparently. i asked him to come with me. he walked from the second floor to the first floor to answer questions and here's how it went. >> senator, you can explain why it took so long to pay back almost $60,000 in flights that you took? >> i was in a big travel schedule in 2010, the chair and
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my own campaign getting ready for reelection and in the process of all of that, it fell through the crack that is our processes didn't catch and making sure we paid. when it came to my attention that the payment had not taken place, i paid for them in order to meet my obligation. >> that's a lot of money and you did so much traveling. you know the rules. that's a pretty big chunk of money not to pay back. >> well, it's certainly the responsibility of myself when it came to my attention to do so. it it came to my attention and maybe i would have before. when it came to my attention, i did what was right. >> you understand when it came to your attention that you didn't pay until you got caught. >> that's not the case.
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when it came to my attention, i pate for it. several of them were when i got to look at the allegations, i came forward. as a matter of fact one of the thrills i self reported. it wasn't anything. >> one last question. can you answer the allegation out there. >> the smears that right wing blocks have been pushing since the election that are unsubstantiated. it's amazing that anonymous nameless faceless individuals on a website can drive that story into the mainstream. now nobody can find them and no one ever met them or talked to them, but what's where we are at. the bottom line is all of those
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smears are false. >> we were walking away and i asked him about the allegations that he was trying to friend who is now the owner of a lucrative courteous trying to help him to get that courteous enforced and his answer was that he was trying to do whatever he did not because of a friend, but trying to do what was right for the policy of the united states with regard to his influence overseeing that region. >> he was anxious to try to set the record straight. he was mum over these past few days and a short written statement from the office. this was the first detailed conversation he had with the journalist, right? >> that's right. he talked to some of his reporters from new jersey. this was the first conversation
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he had in general. he has been avoiding reporters and one of the great things about this is we can talk to the people we cover every day. he knows his way around the senate. we can avoid people like me and other reporters. he did not do that in this case. just the opposite. he caught us out and wanted to talk to us and went all the way from the second floor to the first floor where we had a camera permitted to be. that's what you saw. >> doing excellent work for us. thanks very, very much for that. i know you will be following up. icate is here and the president also did some work today as far as gun control. >> i lot of news this evening. the president said he wants to pass to reduce gun violence. even as we spoke in minneapolis, there growing doubts among democrats about the prospects for a ban on assault-style
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weapons. listen to the president emphasizing background checks that do seem to have support. >> real and lasting change requires congress to do its part and to do it soon. not to wait. the good news is we see a consensus emerge about the action congress needs to take. the vast majority of americans including gun owners support requiring criminal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun. >> new push back against the nomination of jack lew. senators claim he did not comply with the law over medicare funds while he was running the budget office. no response to that from the white house. lieu had been expected to sail through hearings which still
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have not been scheduled. we will give you updates. new yorkers said goodbye to one of the city's most colorful mayors, ed koch at his funeral today. he was remembered for his fight to clean up the city during the late 70s and 80s. as a loud and brash, but a loved character. listen to the former president, bill clinton. >> i sent him a note on his 88th birthday. he wrote me a nice letter back and he didn't typically mention his own illness. instead he asked about hillary's health instead. he had a big brain, but a bigger heart. so ed, how is she doing? she's doing fine, but she misses you. we are all doing fine. but we miss you.
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we miss you so much because we all know we are doing a lot better because you lived and served. >> ed koch died of congestive heart failure on friday at 88 years old. i was able to catch some of the speeches given and there were moving and humorous tributings to him today. >> he was a great guy and interviewed among many, many occasions. >> the definition of colorful. >> not an easy job. questions about post traumatic stress syndrome and a therapy. did they play a in the shooting of a military sniper? a heart breaking search comes to an end and now the parents of a new york woman found dead in turkey. they are speaking out.
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. >> wie turn to a story we have been following. an american woman missing in turkey and tragically she has been found dead. >> her family and friends spoke emotionally about the young mother of two and what they might have done to keep her safe. mary snow has been following this story from new york. what a sad ending to the story we have been following. >> such a tragic story. her family here in new york is struggling to come to grips with what happened. sierra's body was found nearly two weeks after she went missing. according to the police chief she died from a blow to the head. >> i top the thank the turkish police and how they went beyond the search for my daughter. even though they didn't know
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her. >> a heartbroken mother speaks out after her worst nightmare comes true. her 33-year-old daughter is found dead, her body hidden behind old stonewalls. her family last heard from her the day before she was to hurricane to new york. >> even though i wanted to see my daughter alive, at least they found her and some people are waiting for their loved ones and haven't been found. >> her husband identified his wife's body in istanbul after his wife went missing, leaving two sons ages 9 and 11 with their grand paurnts. they traveled alone on january seventh. her long time friend said she was supposed to go along. backed out because she was not working and couldn't afford it. they picked january because
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sierra was in between semesters getting her under grad degree. now she is haunted by what ifs. >> what are if i was more persistent instead of taking for granted that i will see her when she got back. what if i work harder? >> sierra was a photographer and do you meaned her travels on instagram. she developed followers and made acquaintances with those who wanted to act as tour guides. while her friend was careful, it made her nervous. >> you never know who is on the other end. she would laugh and say everything she would know. that's why we have been able to help the authorities. >> she couldn't say specifically what names were shared, but
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reports say several people have been questioned as suspects. the latest information we have is that 21 people have been questioned according to the semi official news agency in turkey that reports that prosecutors have been given permission to take blood and dna samples from all of them. her husband is waiting to take home his wife's body at church here in new york. in the meantime they are raising funds for her burial and the family shielded the children from the news their mother has died until steven sierra returns home to tell his children that tragic news. >> thank you. >> a famous sniper gunned down allegedly by a fellow veteran to post traumatic stress syndrome. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china,
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an iraq war veteran changed with murdering a military hero is on suicide wauchl. >> the former navy s.e.a.l. chris kyle who billed himself as the deadliest sniper in u.s. military history. we will speak with his friend in a moment, but first joe johns has the latest on this case. >> it was an eventful night at the jail. the defendant had to be placed in restraints. sheriffs deputies said he was aggressive after they tried to remove eating utensils from the jail cell. the sheriff wants a psychiatric evaluations and the lawyers wouldn't comment on that. on suicide watch and strapped to a restraint chair in his jail cell, the war veteran has been
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charged with capital murder in the shooting of former navy s.e.a.l. chris kyle and kyle's friend chad littlefield. 48 hours after they were found dead at a gun range outside of dallas, police are trying to find out why. >> i don't know that we will ever know. he's the only 1 that knows that, but he hasn't made comment as to why he did it. >> kyle middlefieldfield drove to the gun range in the pickup truck less than two hours later, kyle and middlefield were dead and ralph had fled had his sister's house. he told her what happened and she called police and ralph was eventually caught. ralph left the marines in 2010 and is being isolated for his own protection. authorities say he was the subject of death threats and some believed to be from military veterans. kyle served as a sniper in iraq, claiming to have killed a record of more than 150 insurgents.
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he wrote a best selling auto biography titled american sniper. in an interview last year, kyle talked about the duty he felt he owed to fellow troops. >> mire only regrets are the guys i couldn't save. that keeps me up at night. every shot i took i felt extremely justified. >> he was a vocal advocate for vets starting a foundation for those suffering for ptsd. that may be why they went to the gun range with ralph. >> apparently mr. kyle works with people suffering from issues that have been in the military. this shooter is possibly one of those people he had taken out to the range to mentor and visit with and help him. >> kyle's friend said that's just the kind of man he was. >> the man was a servant leader.
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he was a humble man. he had a vision to support veterans and their needs and he was fearless in that. he gave his life doing so. >> nor telling when a preliminary hearing will be held. a sheriff said under the circumstances, he is reluctant to move him to a courthouse. any hearing is likely to be held here in this building or closed cirq circuit tv. >> jim is joining us from new york. i know your friends, our condolences to you. tell us about chris kyle. >> he was an amazing human being. if i wrote about him in a novel as a fictional character, he would have been too good to believe. he was all about god, country and family. at times he struggled to decide
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which was more important, country or family. he never ever put himself above the thoree things. everything you hear is absolutely true. that's the kind of guy he was. even before the book became successful and chris was so well-known, he started helping veterans and helping disabled veterans and people who had just come back from the war. it's a tragedy. >> this must be very difficult for you finding out about his death. you spoke with him recently. tell us about that. >> it was an off handed e-mail. chris had been in las vegas and met a mutual friend of ours and i guess they were talking and the friend and i are working on
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it and just decided to work on another book here and sent me an e-mail. i met so and so and craig is a great guy. if you want help, let me know. that's the kind of guy chris was. he just helped people. i think every person who met him feels something now. the depth though that his family, the depth of loss that his family is going through is tremendous. they were everything to him and he was everything to them. >> our heart guess out to them. a quick question about the man who is a cued of killing him, we know that chris was involved in helping other veterans. >> no, the information i have is secondhand. i don't want to say anything
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because it's possible i'm wrong. a lot of people today, i have been jumping to the wrong conclusions or working on half-baked information or ideas. let's wait until the facts come in. one thing about chris kyle, he would not put another person in danger. let's wait and see what the faxes are and find out what really happened. >> good advice. once again, our condolences to you and chris's family and friends. what a heart breaking story this is as well. a guy tries to do some good and see what happens. new details of the super bowl power outrage. we are going inside the frantic effort to get the lights back on and the investigation to try to figure out what went wrong. but that doesn't mean i don't want to make money. i love making money. i try to be smart with my investments. i also try to keep my costs down. what's your plan? ishares. low cost and tax efficient.
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caused that bizarre power outage that put the biggest sporting event of the year on hold for almost 35 minutes. >> 35 minutes. we are learning more about that investigation and one possible cause that officials seem to be ruling out. brian, take us behind the scenes. what are you finding out? >> the full-fledged investigation is under way as to the cause of the outage. the two entities responsible are both handling this investigation, but both said this was not their doing. at least half the stadium's lights tripped out. escalators and elevators lost power and credit card machines didn't work. cameras were rolling in the control room. all right, we are going to the manual overright.
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>> a 34-minute delay ensued with a company that are investigating. according to mondays from meetings of the group that owns and manages the super dome. they budgeted hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade to the super dome last year. cnn reviewed transcripts of the minutes. at one point it was called an emergency project. an official of the group that manages the super dome told them the outage is not related to that repair work. that official said a machine that monitors power description detected an abnormality that activated breakers. he put that at the feet of ent ernlgy. >> the interruption in service didn't occur inside the building. we could not receive the power from the substation that supplies us with power.
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>> on sunday night they said they were feeding power to the super dome normally. on minute afternoon in a statement to cnn, they said they are working with smg to investigate and until the investigation is complete, any statements on possible causes of the outage are just peckulation. could the halftime show with beyonce and pyrotechnics have shorted out systems in the building? they said no. the halftime show was running on 100% of generated power. it was not on our power grid at all. we contacted beyonce's representative to see if they have anything to say and they have not heard back. >> what are does this men for the chances of getting another super bowl back in the city? >> that's a big question all day. they hope the league brings it back to new orleans. they got a word of good faith from the commissioner of the nfl
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who said despite everything that happened, the league wants to see the super bowl back in the city. >> all right. brian todd in new orleans. >> i love new orleans. >> this was a tough go. we will keep following them. thank you. >> the white house igniting a huge controvercy we this photo of president obama skeet shooting. what is it? we will talk about it with a top adviser standing by to join us in "the situation room".
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>> president obama brought his push for new gun control to minneapolis calling for a comprehensive package to steps.
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growing doubt and one of the steps he is seeking can be passed by congress. an assault weapons ban. and dan pfiefer, the senior adviser to the president is joining us right now from minnesota. thanks very much for coming in. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> everyone thinks that the president's recommendation and a lot of democrats like to ban the military style weapons that doesn't have the votes in congress right now. are you ready to continue to push for it or are you giving up on it? >> we are going to continue to push for the package of initiative that is the vice president presented from banning assault weapons to background checks to ensuring that people have better access to mental health to giving schools better opportunities to have resource officers in the room. that's why the president is here in minnesota today. >> the argument is if you go for a comprehensive deal, it could collapse on that part and greater support for expanding
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background checks and limiting the bullets in the magazine clips. if you insist on the assault weapons, here's the question. are you ready too break the components up? >> we are going to work with senator reid, democrats and republicans to get whatever we can get done. we want the pyre part of the package, but we will do what we can. it has been too long. we made no progress. the president's hope is taking advantage of the new moment in time to get something done. we want everything done and we will work to make sure something gets done. >> you are willing to accept whatever you can. if you can get the magazines and the background checks and you can't get the assault weapons, you take wa what you can get. it's not all or nothing. >> that's right. if they were easy, it would get
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done a long time ago. this is not just about today or tomorrow or the next fight. it's about the next four years. we will keep working and what the president is pleased with, we have bipartisan momentum to prevent gun violence. the bills around background checks and reducing the high capacity clips. there is the first progress we have seen in many, many years. that's a positive sign. >> the killer killed 20 kids and six teachers with an assault-type weapon. if you can't get that ban through congress, what do you say to the family who is will be deeply disappointed? >> those families should know that the president's heart is with them all the time. that was the toughest day of his presidency and he thinks about those families all the time. he will keep pushing for
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everyone to make sure it never happens again and stop fighting for them. >> last week he was up and there was a gaggle of reporters around him. >> nothing we are going do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee we will bring the deaths down to 1,000 a year from what it is now. >> you want to elaborate on what the vice president is suggesting? it caused commotion as you know. >> what are the vice president is saying is what the president is trying to do. we put him working with the attorney general and they put together a package that deal with gun violence to the culture and movies and video games about mental health services and education and if we can do all
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of those things, we do everything we possibly can to ensure what happened in newtown doesn't happen again. that's what we owe the children. >> when he said nothing we can do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting, why are you going through all of this if it's not going to fundamentally alter that possibility? >> wolf, the idea here is that the vice president put forward to ensure that weapons of war and the mentally ill and the dangerous don't have access to the violence. we will do everything we can to prevent the tragedies like what happened in newtown. that's the ultimate goal and the effort here. is there always going to be a danger of some person doing something? that's true, but we have to look inside and say are we doing
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everything we can to protect our children? that's what the president wants to do. >> we're saw the picture of the president skeet shooting and i will put it up on the screen for the viewers who haven't seen it. i think it was something everybody has seen by now. why did you decide to release the picture taken on august 4th, 2012. >> we are trying to have a serious discussion on how we reduce gun violence. too many people were -- there was too much of a distribution about whether the president had been skeet shooting or not. it was clear that they put that to rest and try to get back to the debates. the president never has been clear. he didn't grow up around guns. he wasn't raised in a culture and he values that deeply and understands why it's important in our country, but he never pretended that that was his background. he had the opportunity to shoot guns at targets in camp david
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and he destroyed that experience and he was asked a question and answered that. >> you decided to release it. i saw your tweet for all the skeeters. were you there at camp david when he was doing that? >> i was not there. the point here is that you -- this speaks to the larger absurdity of debates. the issue is not weather the president had been skeet shooting. he said he did that and we put out the picture, but mainstream news outlets treating it like it's an x files experience theory, we thought we would put it to rest and get back to the issues that matter. >> thanks for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. >> we want to remind the viewers, piers morgan has a special program coming from texas in a gun range himself. you want to see him later tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. looking forward to it myself.
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i think piers will be shooting a little bit when he is out there. >> that's something we definitely do not want. still ahead this hour, the boy scouts of america is on the verge of a decision. will they let openly gay members in? : 1-800-345-2550 like no atm fees, worldwide. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and no nuisance fees. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 plus deposit checks with mobile deposit. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and manage your cash and investments tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 with schwab's mobile app. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 no wonder schwab bank has grown to over 70 billion in assets. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so if you're looking for a bank that's in your corner, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 not just on the corner... tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 call, click or visit to start banking with schwab bank today. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 all right that's a fifth-floor probleok.. not in my house! ha ha ha! ha ha ha! no no no! not today! ha ha ha! ha ha ha!
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the boy scouts of america are now debating whether to end their ban on openly gay leaders and members. >> powerful people are taking sides on this debate. casey wian is here with more. hey, there, casey. >> greg burke's son joined the cub scouts in the second grade. burke eventually became assistant scout master of his son's troop. >> after decades of being out of the closet, the boy scouts of america forced me back into the
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closet with its don't ask don't tell policy. >> now in high school, isaiah is on the verge of becoming an eagle scout, but his dad has lost his rank because he's gay. >> i pose no harm to anyone. i passed all of their background checks. i go to church every sunday with my family. lord knows, we're fill anthropic. i don't know what else they want from us. >> scouts and others who support ending the policy of barring openly gay scout masters and scouts delivered what they say are 1.4 million signatures on several online petitions to boy scout headquarters. in a statement, the boy scouts of america says it is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orien tashz. the policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational orlgizations that oversee and deliver scouting to determine how to address this issue. the boy scouts would not under any circumstances dictate a
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position to units, parents, or members. president obama said he supports dropping the restriction on gays. >> the scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives. i think that nobody should be barred from that. >> rick perry, governor of the boy scouts home state of texas is opposed. >> scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons, sexuality is not one of them. never has been and doesn't need to be. >> several groups opposed to the change took out this ad in "usa today" asking the scouts to, quote, show courage and stand firm for timeless values. the traditional values coalition sent an urgent letter to followers asking for $15 donations. they say christian america is outraged that the boy scouts would even consider such an action, but the boy scouts are under pressure from delining
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membership and from the loss of funding from corporate donors with non-discrimination policies. the national leadership of the boy scouts is meeting on the issue this week. activists on both sides of the issue say they expect a decision on wednesday. wolf and kate. >> we'll follow up. casey in texas for us. thank you, casey. next, tweets on the super bowl blackout. clever, just like you are, clever. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day men's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+.
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we knew this was coming. the super bowl blackout jokes are going strong. here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: the super bowl loses power. >> blackout bowl. >> reporter: leaving fans bowled over. >> the scoreboard's not working, the announcers antd talking. what is going on here? holy crap. >> power outage. >> reporter: the blackout inspired a surge in tweets from how many blackouts does each team get per game? to heck of a job, brownie. tweeted by new york times columnists. even lights got into the act when theync